Archive for the ‘Franklin Park’ Category

Train to Gorillas

November 29th, 2013



The quasi-suburban parts of Boston can have their own simple pleasures. Mine today came from an excursion, train time, zoo time!

Here in Hyde Park, as in Roslindale and West Roxbury, we all seem proud of being part of the city, yet very aware we can’t reasonably walk across the central fist of it as you can from Beason Hill or the South or West Ends. Standout successes like the recent new stations and skeds of the Indigo (Fairmount) Line are big deals down here.

For 10 years, we lived right downtown and then for 21, we were in JP, right below Forest Hills. Now in lower Hyde Park, it’s a trek and rigmarole to get places. I and one of my sons bike frequently (it’s quicker to get to Porter Square on two wheels than by T or God forfend by four). We have to plan. Until recently too the infrequent commuter rail just down the hill from us was also $5.50 a trip and only went as far as South Station.

I’ve been taking the zap, pow, wow improved Fairmount line regularly and grokking it. They dropped the fare to subway prices ($2 a trip) and roughly doubled the frequency. There is also a subtext. This is Thomas Michael Menino’s turf also and part of the idea was to pay attention to the Mayor and District Councilor Rob Consalvo in fostering development in Logan Square, a few hundred yards from the Fairmount stop. Moreover, personally, I got my geezer card from the MBTA, so one way is half price — a buck.

Freebie Road Trip

Today was a trial run for many who had not caught the T fever and fervor. Touted in the local weekly, in flyers at the Y and such, the notice was that today at 11:45 AM, we could gather at the Fairmount Grille and head for the 12:03 PM train. We’d get free round-trip fare.

Every station had its attraction. In particular, New Market was the big honking blue-collar South Bay shopping center with anything your little heart desires. Honestly, as much as I bike and sometimes drive around there, I reeled at the mentions of Four Corners and a short walk to the Franklin Park Zoo. I had never gotten off the Fairmount line at that stop and in my rigid mind thought it must not practical…too far.



I decided to do the zoo stop, assured a lackey would appear to lead me. Turns out, I was the only fool headed to the animals in the cold. When we gathered at the Fairmount Grille before heading to the stop, people were talking about shopping, either at South Bay or downtown. Joe Cosgrove (right), the MBTA’s director of planning and development, and Mat Thall, the interim executive director of the Southwest Boston Community Development Corporation, spoke, but did not pitch Franklin Park. We heard that the $2 fare was an experiment, for both Fairmount and as a test for other Boston neighborhood commuter lines shackled to absurdly high fares despite being in Boston city limits. We heard that the Fairmount traffic had spiked 47% since the fare change, and mostly we heard that we had to talk it up.

Clearly, I”m self-interested, but I think it’s worth it. Sure to the rail geeks, Boston has a reputation far beyond our boundaries for how hard the CDCs pushed for the Indigo Line work that has produced the improvements after almost two decades. Honestly, I can attest that we are a model for the hemisphere for the accomplishments. More personally, I want to see weekend service and trains that leave downtown for my neighborhood after the current latest, 9:40 PM. I want to be able to go to the Haymarket on Saturday, thank you very much. Let’s be a real city.

Gorillas, No Giraffes

My hick mindset had the zoo out of range. Despite my frequent bike rides down Columbia, up Blue Hill, through Franklin Park, past Forest Hills, the length of Mass Ave and all of the convoluted Washington Street in various neighborhoods, I fell into the Geneva Ave/Four Corners is distant gang turf. I was ignorant.

Sure enough, I ended up being the only bozo getting off the train at Four Corners. At Fairmount, the conductor was amused and amusing. He was the veritable gang of us, highly unusual for 12:03 PM on a weekday and did a great double take as he greeted us. I was literally the only Four Corners stop requester and the only one who exited for the zoo instead of consumer/Black Friday choices.


As promised, a pleasant young man, Hanad, was there to shepherd me. Turns out, as I was the only one, he didn’t even bother putting me through the half-priced-day gate. I got in for free. So there, shoppers.

Sure, a cold November day is not primo. Many animals are not the slightest bit interested in playing the game below 65F. Even my favorite beasts of all, giraffes, were bunked or huddling inside. No tigers, a single lion, no roos, maybe a third of the areas and cages said exhibit not open. Harrumph, as the expression goes.

Yet there was plenty to see. The parents with kids in strollers and racing ahead of them squealing about dark jungles, warthogs, gorillas and such had a great time. So did I.

(I’ll post some pix on Flickr and update with a link here.)

For the logistics minded, the walk from the Four Corners stop to the zoo entrance is eight minutes. It’s exit the station to the South onto Washington, go four short blocks, then seven short blocks up Columbia to the zoo. It’s a devil of a lot easier and closer than by Orange line or some wacky bus combo.If you want to start from South Station or Hyde Park, this is it. It’s in my mental maps.

We can be as provincial as Manhattanites and a question I heard in the Fairmoumt Grille and on the platform was what can you see in late November at a zoo? Lots, sports fans. The Tropical Forest was fully stocked; the great apes, warthogs, pygmy hippo, wacky carrion birds and more are crowd pleasers.  Nearby in Bird’s World, ibises and lurid finches and parakeets play, while the huge green keas wail and shriek.

A male lion showed off endlessly and on and on and on.

I earned bragging rights for going to the cold-weather zoo, doubled by taking the commuter rail.

Morbid Floral Fantasies

June 20th, 2012

Spurred by Facebook and Twitter truths, several hundred of us queued for Morticia this morning at Boston’s Franklin Park Zoo. We came prepared for the sprawling visual glory of the titan arum, a.k.a. corpse flower, and a bit trepid over a promise of dreadful stench in the temporary greenhouse kept at 80-something humidity and temperature.

Visually, she as the staff said, did not disappoint. As for bad smells, you’d do worse with durian fruit or happening across a decomposing mammal in the woods or maybe that camp outhouse. I eavesdropped to hear people apologizing to each other for their “failure” to get disgusting enough smells after all the anticipation and trepidation.

The zoo has a nice profile of botany of Morticia, here. Plus there’s info on the donor, who presented this one and four others to the facility.

They also realized what a winner they had here. Two of these monsters have bloomed in the same year. Fester, also named for a creepy  Addams Family character, recently finished its cycle. As these bloom on their own mysterious schedules only for about two days every five to 15 years, this mini-run was a delight to plant freaks.

The zoo intends to keep all five in a more permanent greenhouse elsewhere on the grounds after Morticia fades. Others in the quintet are in various stages of development. The staff told me they had no idea when the other three might bloom…a year, five, ten?

This time, the zoo really accommodated us curious types. They had pre- and post-zoo hours just for gawking and sniffing, and set up the greenhouse right inside one of the gates. They also did not charge admission for those special times (8 to 9:30 AM and 6 to 8 PM). Zoo members and paying visitors who came at regular hours could also visit the flowers.

In addition to self-appointed alerters, the zoo updated developments and included photos of each change over the past week of pre-blooming. Their FB page had it all and their Twitter handle carried abbreviated versions. Coupled with not charging for a peek, they clearly wanted to plug people into the zoo. Smart marketing, says I.

When I arrived this morning a little before 8, I sank like a butterfly in the rain. The cars in front of me on Blue Hill Avenue were turning maybe a third or more of them into the park. The two semi-circles of parking spaces by the zebra entrance were jammed and backed up. So was the huge lot by the golf course. Cars were parked all along the drive a quarter of a mile down. The auxiliary lot doesn’t open until 9 either. I went ahead and parked in the little lot by the other entrance and across from the golf course, a  lot I generally use in winter when I cross-country ski there.

Ah, but good news, as I returned to the zoo, I heard the loud speakers at the golf course. There was some sort of links tournament there. So not the entire world just had to see Morticia. In fact, as I entered, I estimated I was 150 or so people back in line. A similar number came behind me in the next 20 minutes. If this was Disney World, that line would be nothing for any attraction worth the trouble.

Pix notes: Click on an image for a closer view. These are Creative Commons. You’re welcome to use and abuse them. Just give Mike Ball credit the first go.

As it turns out, these flowers blow it all in preparation and blooming. Once they open up, they let off their smells to attract pollinating bugs and such. They they quickly fold up show. Fester was nearby and showed what happens as the exterior parts fold down back onto the corm. It looks very woody and extremely dormant.

They let us in double groups of 10, so 20 sweating camera bugs at a time would be around the two corpse plants, with the next batch of 10 replenishing as folk exited.  Certainly, they did not want to spend a lot of time inside. The air was hot and wet. You could pretty well see and photograph and smell from various sides in five or 10 minutes at most. By then, your camera lens was likely to fog and your shirt was wet from your own dew.

Yet, I think we were largely disappointed at not being disgusted by the aroma. That may well have been oversold. Perhaps Fester was more fetid?

On the other hand, Morticia was one big honking flower. She was nearly five feet tall at at least four feet across. The colors of the open blossom were splendidly rich and a bit lewd, looking very vulvar both in folds and hues. The outer green cup of the flower was gloriously fluted too. As fond and proud as I was of my giant parrot tulips, I bow before Morticia.

I can’t say I’ll keep close tabs for the next five to 15 years. I have seen and smelled a corpse flower in bloom. On the other hand, if I’m near one at the right time, I’ll make the effort. Who knows what grand colors…and repulsive smells….that one will produce.

Ass in Boots

January 29th, 2011

Unlikeassinboots Puss in Boots, the donkey who stomps on cross-country ski tracks is not so clever. This is not the first time I’ve gone on this mini-crusade and acknowledge it is in the rant class, like here.

Today, cross-country skiing on the same Boston golf course, I had a brief bonding moment over it and still feel good. Someone else is in the moment and realizes that XC skiers work to make those tracks, so that they and other skiers can glide rather than grunt on that route.

I thought I might wade into conflict as I headed up a long hill toward the woods. Coming down was a bearded dad with his daughter on his shoulders. He was in boots and maybe walking in the ski tracks. I was ready to discuss it with him.

Instead, as we neared each other, I saw that he was walking in boot and snowshoe tracks parallel to the ski ones. He was indeed clever.

His daughter looked around two and a half and grinned like she was really enjoying the ride. When we are close, I thanked him and he rewarded me, along the lines of:

Thank you for walking beside the ski tracks instead of in them.

No, I’m a skier too and know what it means.

I guess those who walk in the tracks aren’t skiers and don’t understand what they’re doing.

That’s got to be it. Have a great rest of the day.

You too…both of you.

If there’s anything better than feeling self-righteous, it’s not having to.

Winter Fluffer

January 16th, 2011

After a glance, my uxorial unit declared the backyard looks like a field of Marshmallow Fluff®.  That’s how winter should be, and how it is in my childhood recollections.

We’ve been a week with scant new snow. We had a pathetic dusting last night, sky dandruff. Yet, the air has been colder than average and not modulated by that famous ocean effect that Boston gets. Our 18 inches up on this hill stays a solid foot, even after several sunny afternoons.

For much of my childhood, I spent vacations and for a few years lived in the Eastern panhandle of West Virginia. To my memory, snow that came stayed.

Romney is in the mountains and on a plateau surrounded by them. The huge apple orchards and corn fields overlooking the Potomac were white from the first flakes, on and on, with regular new snows.

Normally fluffin-town snow in Boston, if it deep enough to cross-country ski in, stays that way one to three days. Temperatures above 30F, bright sun, and no new snow quickly reduce the good stuff to intermittent grass decoration and junk that sticks to skis.

I’m quick to grab the skis (sometimes snowshoes instead) and head to one of my Boston ski resorts — the Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park’s golf course or the nearby Blue Hills Reservation in Canton/Milton. Alas, I used to walk to the Forest Hills Cemetery when we still lived in Jamaica Plain, but two years ago, the management there got grumpy, nasty and non-accommodating.

It’s not a huge deal to drive 45 minutes or even a couple of hours to get to a bona fide cross-country course. They have groomed trails, warming houses or huts, places to pee and such. They do charge say $20 a person, but the big thing is that they are OUT THERE. It’s fabulous to ski Boston. I have an odd pride in being able to do so, even hitting someplace twice a day or more than one location.

So, I’ve been grokking the cold weather keeping the deep snow for my amusement and sport. Tomorrow again will be bitterly cold — more obvious in the arboretum or particularly on the Devine golf course, which only means faster skiing and no slogging in the gummy stuff.

If global warming means hotter summers and colder winters, at least the second part keeps my fluff deep and hard enough for play. Bring it on and keep it on the ground, if you please.

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Tracks in the Snow

January 16th, 2011

devinesnowCoastal New Englanders get to experience and describe at least two types of granular metaphor generators — snow and sand. Their natures make them all too similar. They fairly cry out for imagery of the ephemeral.

For the warm stuff, you could do a lot worse than invoking Jimi Hendrix’ Castles Made of Sand. The pretty nasty little song has it in refrain that “…castles made of sand fall in the sea…eventually.”

When I cross-country ski over the same ground on successive days, I think of such transience. Today on the Franklin Park golf course, I looked for the tracks I had laid down Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  I skipped yesterday and in that absence, evidence of my passage, poetically my existence, was either greatly diminished or gone entirely.

There’s our metaphor. We come, we act, we make a difference (we believe), we leave and our traces may soon be faint or forgotten.

For the non-Nordic skier, the tracks one cuts are both work and legacy. Following in ruts cut by a human on skis or a machine is much easier than pushing through six or 10 or 18 inches of snow and ice. When you put down the tracks, you invariably think you’ll return on them or at least other skiers will benefit, and likely do the same for you when they are first.

We can torture that trope even more with other snowfield visitors. Finding previous ski tracks obliterated and deeply pitted by those in boots or snowshoes is annoying and disheartening.

They might tromp in through ignorance or thoughtlessness or malice or simple lack of breeding. It’s a little thing for them to walk elsewhere and having extensive walking-in-snow experience I know they won’t gain much by using the ski tracks. Yet, what they do causes considerable inconvenience to skiers. I’m betting most don’t know.

Of course, given the modern self-centered America, if you’d call this to a tromper’s attention, you’d likely get some defensive and hostile tirade about no one owning the snow, it’s a free country and worse.

Even without stamped out tracks though, the ephemeral nature of tracks in the snow is that clichéd reminded that we are passing through and may leave no lasting trace. Given that, let us:

  • Revel when we find tracks left by ourselves or others that ease and mark our journey
  • Gladly cut trails for the benefit of those who follow
  • Be in the moment of the journey, whether following or making tracks

Still Missing Grave Goodies

June 6th, 2009

graverobber1.jpgAlas, there is no good update for last August’s grave robberies at Forest Hills Cemetery. One or more immoral thugs stole sculpture, as well as funeral urns — all salable as black market art or merely as scrap metal worth far, far less.

On bike rides or strolls through this gorgeous location, the damaged residue of the thefts are what remains. The pedestal that supported Ceres stands apart and lonely beside the lake, with the holes obvious where the Gibran statue was ripped from its block.


It’s not as obvious where Bark Balls used to nestle under the spreading beech.

The two pix here (click for larger view) show the base brackets from one of the urns in front of the Hanley mausleum. Apparently, the thieves pried the urns off with a crowbar or something similar.

The sights of what we can no longer see sadden me. I retain a hope that some metal dealer or a detective will get the right lead and return the goods.

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The Sudden Disappearance of Thumper

January 22nd, 2009

The arena in the snow was white on white, but the agon was plain enough, if bloodless. While it was no lion bringing down a wildebeest, this was on a golf course in a fair-sized city, not on the tundra nor on the veldt.

On cross-country skis this morning, I had already felt pleased by yet another day out. We’ve had four feet in the past month. Also, unusual for a place with a steady moderating breeze from the Atlantic, the air has been cold enough to keep skiable amounts on the ground. That’s been fine and I wasn’t expecting a Mark Trail-style nature lesson as well.

Yet, the tiny rabbit tracks on the thick cover made me look. To the left and right, I could see larger tracks of big rabbits. The paddle-like pair of rear feet had smaller, rounder front paw prints between. The small tracks showed a bunny wee enough and light enough that the front prints barely left marks.

Visually following those tracks toward the nearby copse (and the burrows at the base of various trees), I saw that they didn’t go the entire 100 feet or so. Skiing over, I saw the rabbit-sad/hawk-glad story.

There was a bowl maybe two and one-half feet across. On each side were clear feather marks. The hawk has surprised the rabbit, grasped it, and struggled briefly with it, certainly leaving with its meal in its claws.

In the bowl were the dents left by the fight, but again, no blood. Likely the rabbit was still alive when the hawk took wing.

I confess that I regretted not having a camera handy. Moreover, tracks I had cut with my skis yesterday afternoon had blown over with snow, leaving just concave grooves. This also suggested that as all the rabbit tracks were clear and the wing marks still visible, that the raid had happened not long before I noticed. If I tried to return to document the scene, there would be nothing conclusive left.

Were I a preacher, except in the informal way so many writers and bloggers are, I might hold forth on the transience of life. Only in a few places do we humans have such natural predators as sharks or tigers. It’s fair to say that we are most in danger from other humans.

I’ve had many friends and acquaintances die from diseases or car wrecks or street violence, but none killed suddenly for food. The closest I can think of is a young, brilliant, beautiful musician who died freakishly when a horse out West leapt over a rise onto her car’s windshield. There too, no one was hunting anyone.

Even with no gigantic critters hunting us as we go about our business, there are reasons for the prevalence of the cliché about the fragility of life.

No More Odetta

December 3rd, 2008

Folksinger and activist Odetta died, apparently of heart failure, at 77. She was here and seeming frail in July.

The Globe is running a personalized obit by James Reed.  Do get past his self-absorption and finish the whole thing. For those who don’t know her music and life work, there’s plenty.

The New York Times has a full obit with details and analysis. It also has an embedded 20-minute clip with music and interview of the older Odetta.

Writing of, if you don’t know her music, that at least remains. I recommend starting with an old, but complete one, The Essential Odetta.

Boston Arriving, One Bike Lane at a Time

October 15th, 2008

alhi.jpg As is my wont, I went to the annual Moving Together Conference. I’ll post some lore learned and some observations.

The first useful snippet came from Boston’s director of bicycle programs, Nicole Freedman, a.k.a. bike czar. She shared a session with Cara Seiderman, her Cambridge counterpart. There will be more on their show later, but the first thing to note is that Seiderman is the pro and we are the farm team. Freedman is working to change that.

Cambridge in an order of magnitude ahead of Boston in bike accommodation. We are still largely in the hatin’-them-Spandex-dudes cliché class. This is despite Mayor Tom Menino’s relatively new rotary joy.

Cambridge has bike lanes seemingly everywhere. They treat cyclists with respect and responsibility. Hell, they even ticket bike guys who run stop signs.

Freedman, the former Olympic and world champion biker, is, if nothing else, competitive. She wants us up and out quickly, chasing Seiderman’s rear wheel.

The former failed, fired bike czar, Doug Mink, was there as usual too. Freedman notes with affection and respect that he developed the major cycling plan she uses. Through circumstances and personalities downtown, he just didn’t get a chance to implement it. His office was dissolved; he was robbed.

She can point to many quick successes, maybe because we started from zero. That was zero bike lanes, almost no public bike racks and on and on. It’s facilities that encourage cycling and we didn’t have any.

nicolef.jpgFreedman is a perky and jolly sort. She notes with glee that she can and does plagiarize freely. Cities like Cambridge, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle have done what we need to. She’ll take the best and avoid their stumbles.

Here, I’ll point to bike lanes. They make cycling more desirable. Cyclists ride the direct routes, which generally means the main thoroughfares and not the buckled and often slow and few paths. She’s trying to use efficiency, common sense, and cheapness, while obeying the laws.

As noted in some of the earlier years’ postings on this conference, when a road gets rehabbed or even re-striped, it has to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists unless that is wildly impractical (like stone walls in the country). That’s required to get the state and federal highway funds. Freeeman is doing her damnedest to make sure that really happens and cycling considerations don’t get waivered out.

An example of her what’s-possible and low-hanging fruit is bike paths. A few major avenues, primarily around the central fist of the city and near universities, have already gotten them. Another is in the shot above, American Legion Highway in Roslindale.

This two-plus-mile stretch of the pretty straight thoroughfare is known as a death highway in my parts of JP. There are quite a few pathetic carnival-class plush animals in colors that have never appeared in nature. Tied to phone or light posts, these memorial artifacts mark where some late night or early morning drunken or drugged up driver raced down the road before careering into a tree or median.

It has four broad lanes with trees in the middle and on each curb. Now it suddenly has a bike lane next to each curb running from Walk Hill to Blue Hill. In typical Bostons fashion, if you bike to Walk Hill Street, you’re on your own from there, but let us praise two miles of relative safety.

The stripes went down in a recent resurfacing. As you regular readers know, I can quibble, as in:

  • There are no markings or signs of any type indicating what the bike lanes are.
  • Drivers don’t get it and many encroach into the lanes.
  • Neither side has NO PARKING signs, and many cars use the Blue Hill end by Franklin Park as a parking lane, endangering both cars and bikes.
  • The newish 30 MPH limit is, shall we say, not fully in the public consciousness. Biking the route today, I estimate that the average speed was 45, with many going faster.
  • Cyclists don’t yet know it is there.
  • It’s not the best example of where people live to where they want to travel.
  • The bike lanes are broad, as in the picture at Walk Hill (click for a larger view) where they piggyback on a bus zone, but narrow in the Northern region to perhaps 3 or 3.5 feet, not really adequate.
  • The travel lanes are quite broad and should have each given another foot to the bike lane to make it safe.

All those listed, I’m delighted to see it and shall use it more. It whets the cycling appetite for accommodation.

About that e.e. cummings Grave

October 8th, 2008

Looking for e.e. cummings grave, are we?

Well, it is in Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain. It almost certainly is the most visited grave there, above those many other notables. Almost as certainly, many have considerable trouble finding it. Some may even leave in frustration, map still in hand.

I know the drill and again yesterday led befuddled tourists to the location. Scampering up the little rises, the heavier of the couple said, “You’re trying to kill me.” When she arrived, she said sincerely, “We never would have found it.” They also had no idea that a nearby tree sculpture included seating and a book of his poetry.

What, you ask, can be so hard when you can get a map from the cemetery office, neatly marked with the celebs’ locations?

Pix Tricks: Click on an image for a larger view. This should open in the same window. Use  your browser’s back button to return.

eec.jpgClick on the map here for a larger view.  The E near the top of Lake Hibiscus is the poet’s spot. Trick number one is that the path is one of the few in the cemetery without a street sign.

The paved ways carry the names of trees (Maple Avenue) or geographical features (Blue Hill Avenue) or burial ideas (Consecration Avenue). The paths are unpaved ways between rows of graves. They get names of flowering plants. Nearly all have plain signs.

This poet’s though lacks a sign at either end of of Althea Path.  Even the merging Hibiscus Path has no markers.

This map has south at the top, with Walk Hill Street along the border.  I normally enter on foot through the Walk Hill gate. The other entrance is the main gate by the Morton Street rotary. Either way, head for the pond in the middle, grandiloquently known as Lake Hibiscus. Despite the folk pulling on their ears, you are close then.

From Walk Hill, walk or drive straight. Turn left on Larch Avenue at the top of the little hill. By car, park at the bottom of the hill where Fountain Avenue intersects.

eecclarke.jpgLarch has changed names to Hemlock. Walk up half a block to Tulip Path. The next opening in a dozen feet or so is the unmarked Althea Path.  Turn right and in a short distance, you’ll see a large stone bearing CLARKE.

From the main gate, you’ll see the bell tower ahead of you. Stay to the right of it on Mulberry Avenue. This curves to the left as you go downhill. At the bottom when you come to the pond, turn right onto Fountain Avenue. Park anywhere beyond the top of the pond (Lake Avenue). Althea path climbs up to the right like a continuation of Lake Avenue. After two tiny rises, look to the right to locate the CLARKE stone.

His grave is in that plot, just to the left of the upright CLARKE stone. The plot belongs to his mother’s family. She descended from John Jones Clarke, Roxbury’s first mayor. He proposed the idea of a burying ground there to the Roxbury City Council.

eecgrave.jpgTricks number two and three are that the poet does not have a vertical tombstone and that his name appears in full and capitalized — EDWARD ESTLIN CUMMINGS.  The stone is flush with the ground. You’ll see it quickly, as it almost always has decorations of stones, flowers, coins and poetry left by admirers.

On your next visit, you may well see confused tourists near the pond. You know what to do.

But, as they say in those late-night ads, you say you want more?

eectree2.jpgHead back down to Fountain Avenue. Across Fountain, in the middle of the block is an elvish structure in homage to the poet. It is the remains of a sugar maple with an opening cut through it, a copper roof replete with bird, and a sitting area bearing some e.e. cummings poetry. Moreover, it includes a book of his work in a heavy plastic bag in a niche.

This Opening work is by Mitch Ryerson and is part of the cemetery’s excellent sculpture path.

eectree1.jpgThis cemetery is one of my three neighborhood parks, along with the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park. I recommend doing an e.e. cummings picnic outing on foot. Forest Hills was build to also be a place of relaxation and contemplation.

If you see me, ask how to get to Eugene and Carlotta O’Neill’s digs a couple hundred yards away. That’s just as hidden, but the stones and flowers left for them suggest a literary few go through the trouble.

While you picnic, recall your favorite e.e. cummings phrases or whole poems. Be sure to include:

laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis